Last week, the Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC, said it will soon commission the 9-kilometre Obehie/Oke-Ikpe Road in Ukwa West Local Government Area of Abia State, as part of its efforts to ensure the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
Speaking during an inspection of the road linking Abia and Akwa Ibom states, the NDDC Executive Director, Projects, Sir Victor Antai, said the Commission was making efforts to complete all its projects across the Niger Delta region.
The Executive Director, who was accompanied by other NDDC Directors and engineers, said several communities in the area would benefit from the project, which links Abia and Akwa Ibom States.
He stated that NDDC would continue to embark on landmark projects that would make the Niger Delta region a destination of choice, adding that the road would increase the economic and social activities between Ukwa West people and their neighbours.
He commended the contractor for doing a good job, stating: “We are impressed with the level of work done by the contractor and I will like to commend him for a job well done. The asphalt overlay is of good quality and the drainage is solid. From what I have seen, in no time, I will urge the Managing Director to come in and commission this road.”
Antai commended the community for appreciating the efforts of the Commission, noting that the administration of President Bola Tinubu would continue to execute projects that would enhance the living conditions in the Niger Delta communities. .
The Executive Director, Projects had earlier addressed staff of the Abia State office, where he urged them to always put in their best towards the development of the Niger Delta region.
“I am happy with the administrative style of the Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku. He is working in tandem with the Governing Board, to change the narrative of the NDDC and the Niger Delta.
“I want to encourage every staff of this Commission to be up and doing. It is important to monitor our projects to be sure that the contractors meet our set standards.”
In his remarks, the Representative of Abia State on the NDDC Board, Chief Dimgba Eruba, observed that the road had been in deplorable condition for many years, leading to loss of several man-hours, with the resultant negative effects on the socio-economic activities in the area.
In another activity by commission to making a difference across the Niger Delta region, the NDDC has revealed is plan to revive its 180 tonnes per day Rice Mill at Elele Alimini in Emohua Local Government Area of Rivers State, as part of its efforts to ensure food security in the region.
The NDDC Executive Director, Projects, Sir Victor Antai, who stated this during an inspection visit to the rice mill, described the suspension of production at the factory as disheartening.
He explained that the rice mill was established as part of NDDC’s industrialisation strategies and expressed optimism that when it returns to full production, it would create employment opportunities for youths.
Antai said: “I want to thank the NDDC for building the rice mill. It is a gigantic project, the biggest in the Niger Delta Region. We went into a partnership with the Elephant Group. Unfortunately, they stopped production in 2022.
“We decided to visit the facility to know why they stopped production, and to also look for the possible ways of bringing it back to production again.
“The NDDC has to meet its mandate of food security in consonance with the drive of the Managing Director, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, who is determined to create employment for the teeming youths of the region.”
Managing Director of the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, Dr. Samuel Ogbuku, has called for more strategic collaborations with International Oil Companies, IOCs, to energise the drive for the sustainable development of the Niger Delta region.
He made the demand while speaking during a meeting convened by the Minister of Niger Delta Development, Engr. Abubakar Momoh, between the Ministry of Niger Delta Development, the NDDC and IOCs, in Abuja, Ogbuku urged the multinationals to consider embarking on more projects in collaboration with the NDDC in the region.
The NDDC boss explained that such collaborations would further fast-track the development of various communities in Nigeria’s oil-rich region.
While appreciating the contributions made so far by the IOCs, Ogbuku stated that delivering legacy projects in the region had become too expensive for any one organisation to handle and as such, required collaborative efforts.
He encouraged the IOCs to consider making their remittances in bulk as the quarterly payments do not allow for efficient planning and achievement of projects and programmes.
According to him, the way NDDC receives the money from IOCs makes it difficult for efficiency, and appealed that the multinationals should find a way of remitting their statutory contributions in bulk.
Ogbuku also appealed for partnership with the oil companies for the development of the communities in their operational areas and Niger Delta Region at large.
He cited the Ogbia-Nembe Road project, which was a partnership between Shell Petroleum Development Company and the NDDC, urging other oil companies operating in the region to emulate the initiative.